Transferring a house deed to a family member is a major lifestyle altering decision. Once completed, the person transferring the property, the grantor, has given up any rights to the family member, the grantee. There are a number of ways for the grantor to transfer his house deed to a family member or members. The three most popular methods of transfer are called:
- A special warranty deed
- A general warranty deed
- A quitclaim deed
SPECIAL WARRANTY DEED TRANSFER
This process may require the services of an attorney and it will protect the grantee or grantees from any property issues or claims that the grantor had while in possession of the house.
GENERAL WARRANTY DEED TRANSFER
This type of transfer ensures that all of the grantor’s property rights are being transferred to the grantee or grantees. This process will legally ensure both the grantor and the grantee(s) from any past actions or future actions against the property.
QUITCLAIM DEED TRANSFER
The transfer process is the easiest method of transferring a house deed, but it only transfers the grantor’s property interest and does not protect the grantee(s) from any legal claims against the property.
Before the grantor transfers a house deed to a family member, there are potential federal and state tax situations to consider. Depending on the value of the property, either or both the grantor and the grantee may have to pay gift taxes or capital gains taxes. Tax laws are always being revised, therefore, to ensure that both parties are aware of which transfer method is most advantageous, it is advisable to seek the advice of an estate lawyer and a financial professional. An estate attorney will be able to explain any property transfer laws that may enable the grantor to transfer a house deed to the certain grantee(s) tax-free.
All forms of house deed transfers require a newly written deed that includes, at a minimum, a description of the property being transferred and the name and date of birth of each grantee. The forms must be signed in front of a notary public and notarized. The grantor, or an attorney, must deliver the new deed to the named grantee(s). The grantee(s) must agree to accept the transfer and the ownership responsibilities for the property. To finalize a house deed transfer, the grantee(s) must record the document with the local registry of deeds titling office.